Tokyo admits Hiroshima destroyed by atomic bomb


GUAM, Aug. 8, 1945 (UP) - Tokyo conceded today that a single atomic bomb completely destroyed most of the town of Hiroshima Monday morning and said the blasted and blistered corpses in the town which once had a population of 348,000 were too numerous to count.

An enemy broadcast said what once was Hiroshima was now a littered ruins. The impact of the atomic bomb was so terrific that practically all living things - human and animal - literally were seared in a bath of tremendous heat and pressure engineered by the blast.


Reconnaissance photos confirmed that 4.1 square miles or 60 per cent of the built-up areas of Hiroshima vanished almost without a trace in the world's greatest man-made explosion, which was caused by a single atomic bomb dropped from a high flying Superfort.

Unofficial American sources estimated that Japanese dead and wounded might exceed 100,000.


Five major war plants and scores of smaller factories, office buildings and dwellings were known to have been leveled.

Tokyo broadcasts said only a few skeletons of concrete buildings remained in the obliterated area. In addition, damage outside the totally destroyed section still was being assessed.

Breaking a silence of more than 60 hours which has been maintained since the atomic bomb dropped Monday morning, except for a brief announcement that the town had been hit, Tokyo said an "indescribable destructive power" crushed big buildings and small dwellings alike in an unparalleled holocaust.

Most of the bodies found in the area of devastation were so badly battered it was impossible to distinguish men from women.

The broadcast quoted authorized Tokyo sources as saying the United States violated Article 22 of the Hague convention by showing a disregard for humanity. It did not mention the fact that Japan has not subscribed to the Hague convention nor that Japan on numerous occasions has violated it.

Tokyo radio disclosed that the cabinet met in special session Wednesday morning to hear a report on the raid and also that Emperor Hirohito received Dr. Hiroshi Himomura, president of the Japan board of information.

Enemy broadcasts quoted authorized sources as stating that international law lays down the principle that belligerent nations are not entitled to unlimited choice of means to destroy their opponents.


"This is made clear in article 22 of the Hague convention," the radio said. "Consequently, any such attack against open towns and defenseless citizens is an unforgivable action.

"The United States ought to remember that at the beginning of the fighting in China, they protested in the name of humanity against smaller raids Japan carried out."

Despite reference to Hiroshima as an open city, it is known to be a quartermaster depot and garrison town of considerable military importance.

In describing the destruction wrought in Hiroshima, Tokyo radio said both dead and wounded were beyond recognition and confessed that authorities still were unable to obtain a definite check on civilian casualties.

"Those outdoors burned to death, while those indoors were killed by the indescribable pressure and heat," the broadcast said. It called the city a "disastrous ruin."

"Medical relief agencies that were rushed from the neighboring districts were unable to distinguish, much less identify, the dead from the injured," the broadcast continued.

"The impact of the bomb was so terrific that practically all living things, human and animals, literally were seared to death by the tremendous heat and pressure engendered by the blast.

"With houses and buildings crushed, including the emergency medical facilities, the authorities are having their hands full in giving every available relief possible under the circumstances."


The broadcast referred to the atom missile merely as a "new type bomb."

Gen. Carl A. Spaatz said reconnaissance photos showed that fires touched off by the almost unbelievable heat generated by the explosion of the bomb leaped blockwide streams and spread to the outskirts of the city.

Hiroshima appeared desolate in the photographs. Bridges across seven channels of the Motoyasu river delta within the city were damaged.

It appeared the entire force of the bomb, which Tokyo said was dropped by parachute and exploded in the air, was expended horizontally across the city. The photographs showed no crater.

Hiroshima had an average of 26,500 persons per square mile and few, if any, of the more than 100,000 persons in the totally devastated four square miles were believed to have escaped death or injury.

The blast alone could kill persons within a four-mile range, and it was likely there were many casualties outside the utterly destroyed section.

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